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Monday, October 27, 2014

Burton Gilliam Norma’s Café 2014

While Burton Gilliam is a local, I haven’t gotten him before. When I heard he’d be signing at the local Norma’s Café at lunch, I headed on over.

I got there as Burton was finishing. The wait staff and managers were busy taking photos with him. They had served him a large plate of chicken fried steak.  He spent 5 minutes trying to cut a piece off and eat it as one waitress or another posed with him. Very good naturally, he lifted his fork, dripping with gravy and posed with several people.

I just hung back and wanted him to finish.  He smiled and joked through all of the interruptions.  As he finally got the forkful in and chewed, he looked around and saw me.  He waved me up to the table.  I waved him and off and said I’d wait.  He swallowed and told me that it’s his pleasure. He pulled out a photo and picked up his pen.

He read my name badge and signed his photo. (Yes, I stopped by during my lunch hour.) I thanked him and was ready to let him eat in peace.   That was not in the cards. He asked where I grew up.  I told him Jersey. He gave me an even a bigger grin. He asked if I knew of Cape May.  I nodded yes. He told me he was in the Coast Guard and stationed there.  Then he told me he boxed for the Coast Guard. He had a very impressive record. I paused. I looked at his nose. I said, you must have been good, your nose wasn’t broken.   He said nope.

Then he asked where I worked.  I told him I’m at Mary Kay. He paused and he pulled a name out of the past: Rodgers.  I said: Richard?  I got a quick and emphatic yes.  He told me he went to church with Richard and his mom, Mary Kay. 

At that point I left.  He made a great impression with me and I was smiling all the way back to work.


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